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LGBTI people experience higher levels of social disadvantage than the general population in Australia. In spite of consistent evidence to show that many, though not all, people in this diverse population gain qualifications, the odds are often stacked against them.

The myth of ‘pink privilege’ has become pervasive in many countries. Represented by the notion of the ‘wealthy inner-city gay man’ as the archetype for all gay men, and in some cases other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, it often has little relation to the everyday lives of people in this diverse population grouping. Notwithstanding this pervasive myth of affluence, there is a lack of research examining the experiences of LGBTI people in relation to poverty and disadvantage in the Australian context, including in New South Wales (NSW).

This report aims to address the gap in knowledge about poverty and disadvantage experienced by LGBTI people in Sydney and NSW more broadly. We use the terms poverty and disadvantage to denote two different sets of distinct, but interrelated, experiences. Poverty refers to the inability to meet basic needs (which could be defined as shelter, food, clothes and transport), whilst disadvantage refers to differential outcomes people experience as members of a social group, which are essentially discriminatory in nature (for example, disparities in wages and salary earnings, employment conditions, or promotions).

Critically, whilst disadvantage, may not automatically lead to poverty, which can be subject to more rigorous measurement, it can compound across the life-course, leading to poverty in later life. This can occur, for example, through exposure to debt in the short-term (through enforced borrowing to survive) or across the life course, through a compounding effect (for example, in retirement, where lower-levels of superannuation, or a reduced asset-base, may be evident).

Read the report on the NSW Council of Social Service website.

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